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Fireball: a forensic ballistics imaging system

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1 Author(s)
Smith, C.L. ; Edith Cowan Univ., Perth, WA, Australia

Characteristic markings on the cartridge and projectile of a bullet are produced when a gun is fired. Over thirty different features within these markings can be distinguished, which in combination produce a “fingerprint” for identification of a firearm. This paper will describe an investigation into the development of an imaging system for Police Services which can store, analyse, retrieve, and match high resolution digital images of cartridge cases. A computerised imaging system for ballistics identification will produce efficiencies in time and personnel, and permit a more precise audit of firearms within a country. The project has produced good quality high resolution digitised images of cartridge cases for the identification function. The development of the optical system to optimise image quality has been crucial for the image identification phase. By classifying cartridge image attributes, it is possible to store the unique “signatures” of cartridge cases for identification. Appropriate image processing provides the signatures for the image library. The Fireball forensic ballistics interactive database incorporates a Graphics User Interface (GUI) to obtain precise ballistics metrics of cartridge case class characteristics. Features of the Fireball forensic ballistics database will be presented, together with a description of the major applications of this ballistics imaging system

Published in:

Security Technology, 1997. Proceedings. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 31st Annual 1997 International Carnahan Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Oct 1997